Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week 24 - Alexandre Dumas – The Writer


The slightly musty smell of old book still lingers in my nostrils. As a youngster, I used to spend every summer I could with my grandparents. As much as I loved seeing them, I loved spending time there because they had a huge library, filled to the brim with varied and assorted books.

The Odyssey, numerous Ancient Roman and Greek Myths, complete volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and more. But what I loved most of all were the high adventure novels. I was scarcely more than 10, and for a boy my age, that stuff was crack. I devoured The Count of Monte Cristo and ‘The Three Musketeers’ in one summer and it was only some years after that I would learn more about their prolific author.

Alexandre Dumas born ‘Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie’, was a prolific French author and playwright, author of such classics as ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ and ‘The Three Musketeers’.  He is perhaps the most widely read French Novelist of all time, and this belies his humble beginnings.

He was born destitute, the grandson of a French Nobleman and a Haitian Slave, and despite a lack of formal education, he was a voracious reader, and would eventually parlay his skills as a writer into a lucrative career. Despite his great success, he never received the respect he deserved during his lifetime, due to discrimination as a result of his mixed-race heritage. It would only be upon his death that he would receive the recognition that he truly deserved. 

I still love his books and I admire his character above that. He did what he loved, and he did it well.

Greatest Quote:
As a general rule...people ask for advice only in order not to follow it; or if they do follow it, in order to have someone to blame for giving it.”  

“One's work may be finished someday, but one's education never.”

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